Personal experience changes writer's views on ribbons

Ken Knutson’s article from last week was timely for me. I was a “Ribbon Rower,” believing there could be more tasteful, constructive ways to memorialize the loss of a loved one.

I thought the above, until three of Hinsdale’s finest police officers paid a visit to the home of my fiancé the evening of Dec. 15. The tragedy of that evening mobilized an emotional support team that I have never witnessed before. Hinsdale Central students, with the assist of parents, quickly began wrapping trees with ribbons.

To quote Roger Ebert: “I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.“ I believe these ribbons are the visual equivalent to the word empathy.

Tom Cauley’s stance on the ribbon row is sensible. It is a delicate subject, and to mitigate resident concerns with defined rules and regulations would be heavy handed. I respect the residents of Hinsdale that have expressed genuine concerns when our town is ribboned. They have done so because they’re stewards of Hinsdale’s beauty, and charm.

Thank you to the residents of Hinsdale, who have been patient with the ribbons that were placed and since removed. Last, a debt of gratitude to the many families and students who honored an amazing life and who continue to support my fiancé. — Bernie Hancock, Hinsdale